The New York Giants were penalised for having too many men on the field during the New England Patriots game-ending drive.
Although the 12 men on the field penalty is normally considered to be a complete brain fart on the part of a defence, there is a suggestion out there that the Giants may have done this on purpose.
Here’s an explanation of the tactic from one of famed Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan’s old playbooks (via SB Nation):
The opponent is inside the 5 yard line going in to score. There [are] less than 15 seconds left. We want to stop their offence from scoring and in the process, we want to run the clock down to where they have enough time for just one play. So, we will stop them, get penalised half the distance to the goal, but leave them with enough time to run one play.
The play in last night’s Super Bowl was near midfield, but the strategy still works.
Throwing against 12 defenders made it much more difficult for Tom Brady to complete a pass and also took valuable time off the clock, since a “too many men on the field” flag is just five yards and a replay of down. It doesn’t stop the clock.
As far as we know, the Giants haven’t admitted to doing this on purpose and it is merely a theory, but an interesting one nonetheless.
Watch the play again and let us know what you think.
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